Moscow in for hard talks in Washington on Wussia's joining WTO

Next week the US is going to host negotiations on Russia's joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Maksim Medvedkov, deputy minister of economic development and trade, who heads the Russian delegation at talks on Russia's joining the WTO.

"The main problem at the talks in the US is chicken legs from America called here "Bush legs", as well as aircraft," Medvedkov said. "The American side has already agreed that quotas on importation to Russia of poultry must be preserved. As for the size of duties on aircraft, it's still under discussion," the deputy minister added.

"At first the US sought full cancellation of duties on aircraft and component parts. Now they want to see them at no less than 10 percent. We suggest establishing the quota at some 15 percent. As of now, it amounts to 20 percent," Medvedkov said.

The deputy minister said other issues would be discussed in Washington as well, in particular, access to the Russian market of telecommunications, insurance and banking services. The Russian side keeps insisting on a transitional period and preservation of restrictions in these sectors. Thus, there's a suggestion that Rostelecom's monopoly on distance communications be preserved in order to complete the reform of this sector.

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